Tag Archives: Promotion

Sweepstakes Experiment Update for June

 

So far, I have received ten prizes from the contests I entered during my sweepstakes experiment period in May.  They are:

  • A Coke FIFA World Cup™ Beach Towel ($6.40)
  • A Kindle Book in a Goodreads Giveaway
  • A Miller Lite Cannypack ($12.95)
  • A $100 gift card for pet supplements
  • Tee Shirt and Sunscreen (Local FB Contest) ($35)
  • A Kindle Book in Amazon Giveaways ($8)
  • $5000 in Visa Gift Cards
  • $5 Walgreens Gift Card
  • A Nautica Voyage Cologne Sample
  • A $10 Uber credit

I am so pleased and grateful for these wins!

Many of the sweepstakes I entered, however, have an end date at the end of July or later, so more prizes may still arrive.  After enough time has passed, I will write a post on whether I thought entering sweepstakes all day is worth the time and effort as reflected in the quantity and quality of prizes.

Stay tuned!

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Sweepstakes Experiment: Days 11-13

and-the-winner-is-envelope

May 25th: Day Eleven

On my eleventh day I entered sweepstakes for 6 hours and 15 minutes and entered 128.

First thing today I won a HUGE prize!  However, until all the paperwork has been submitted and confirmed I’m not going to reveal more about that. Stay tuned!

Today, desperate to find additional contests to fill up the hours had me thinking outside the box.  I did a search for “low entry giveaways” in hopes of both finding new sweepstakes and finding easier to win ones.  This brought up two sites I found useful:

https://www.giveawaypromote.com/

http://airplanesanddragonflies.blogspot.com/p/low-entry-giveaways.html

According to an article in The Balance:

“Some sweepstakes have an astonishingly low number of entries. When you have a 1 in 50 chance of winning as opposed to a 1 in 50,000, your odds are obviously much better.”

In the afternoon, I got word that I won a Facebook contest where I had to post a picture in the comments to win.  My prize was a $100 shopping spree to an online pet product sponsor.

The main reason I failed to make it to a full eight hours of sweeping today was my pure excitement over my wins!  It made me amped up and I had difficulty concentrating on the task at hand, even though this is surely evidence that my experiment to increase my amount of time entering in order to increase prize quantity and quality is a success!

May 26th: Day Twelve

On my twelfth day I entered sweepstakes for only three hours and entered 56.

Today was the most difficult day I had finding sweepstakes to enter.  I attribute this to it being a holiday weekend and sites not being updated because of that. Today I was also suffering a lot of shoulder pain, due to sitting awkwardly for so many hours in my chair entering contests.  This made it difficult for me to continue sitting at my chair until it felt more comfortable.

May 27th: Day Thirteen

On my thirteenth day I entered sweepstakes for only 3 hours again and entered 61.

Today I had full out exhaustion and burnout from entering sweepstakes for so many hours over the last couple of week.  Trying to reach my daily goal of eight hours felt more like a chore than choosing a delightful hobby. Because of this, I decided to end my experiment a day early and not attempt a fourteenth day which would have brought me to the 2-week mark.

For me to conclude the success and prize value accumulated during this experiment, I will have to wait until the sweepstakes entered have concluded.  Many end in June or July.  However, there are some that will not end until September or even December.  If more prizes roll in, I will write more experiment updates! But it is likely I will not know the full impact of entering for so many hours until the end of the year at which time I will post a grand total!

If you’re curious, during the experiment time period, I entered around 1,000 sweepstakes!  That sounds like a lot, but it is less than I would have entered normally (entering dailies just 1-2 hours per day).  The difference is that I entered new sweepstakes I normally would not have at sites I normally don’t visit.  It will be interesting to see if this has an impact on winning!

The Two-Week Sweepstakes Experiment

experiment

In the past couple of days I have re-watched some old documentaries about sweepstakes enthusiasts.  These include the TLC pilot show High Stakes Sweepers and the Canadian-filmed Winning for a Living.  The subjects of these shows range from those who are simply serious hobbyists to those that literally earn their living by sweepstaking.  One common theme all the subjects seemed to have was that they were continually receiving prizes!

Now, I enter sweepstakes faithfully a couple hours each day – every day.  Yet sometimes days or even weeks will go by without winning high-value packages or letters in my mailbox or e-mail.  So, I wondered what would happen if I stepped up my game.  What if, like some of the documentary subjects, I entered sweepstakes for 8 hours per day?  Would my number of wins go up?  Would the quality and value of my wins increase? Will I be able to find enough sweepstakes to enter to fill all those hours?

I am going to take on the challenge for 2 weeks and see what happens.  My plan is from May 15 – May 29 I am going to enter sweepstakes for eight hours each day.  I am going to keep track of which sweepstakes I enter. Then I am going to wait a month or two to see what and how many prizes roll in from the sweepstakes entered during the experiment time-frame.

Do you have any guesses as to what the experiment results might be?

*For comparison’s sake, from May 1-14 I won 15 small prizes (mostly instant wins) with a value of around $145 total (averaging less than $10 value per prize).

Lessons Learned from Winning International Travel

me before you sweepstakes poster

On July 7, 2016 I received an e-mail notifying me that I had won a trip for two to London.  I had one year to take the trip, and the time is finally here.  I will be in London from May 1 – May 7.  My trip includes airfare, hotel, breakfast, some tours, an English tea, and more.  It’s the middle of the night as I write this post because I am too excited to sleep.  I have been buying travel supplies and packing.  But I wanted to share with you some of the things I have learned through this process.

  1. Have your passport before you enter to win an international trip. Once I won and accepted, I had to fill out forms including my current passport information within the week.  Obviously, if you didn’t already have a passport this would not be enough time to obtain one.  That may mean you would have to forfeit the prize.  Luckily, I had prepared myself by applying for a passport at the beginning of that year “just in case” I won a trip!

 

  1. Read your passport. There is a lot of information about how to fill it out properly, about international travel and who to contact if your passport is stolen.  One piece of great advice is to make copies of the data page and keep them in different places just in case.

 

  1. When to expect your details and trip itinerary. Even though it has been almost a year since I won the trip, I did not receive my finalized travel and booking information until one month before the trip.  This may vary depending on the sponsor, but just know it may not be something you will receive immediately.

 

  1. Check your reservations for accuracy. When I received my plane reservation, I noticed that they had spelled my last name wrong.  Of course, I would not get too far if my identification card and plane reservation names didn’t match.  I simply contacted the travel planner and they quickly made the correction.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for needed alterations of the schedule. The worst they can say is no.  In  my case, I wanted to stay a couple days longer in London to make sure I had enough time to see everything.  I asked if they would still cover the airfare, and the response was yes if it was equal to or lesser than the original airfare plan.  It ended up being to our benefit.  Since the tickets were cheaper by extending the trip, the sponsor ended up including more fun things for the days they covered.  I will simply have to pay for another hotel for those remaining two days.

 

I am looking forward to sharing the outcome of the trip with my readers when I return.  Perhaps I will learn a few more lessons, but hopefully it will just be great fun and memories to report.

Turning Down a Prize

thank you lemur

I’ve been meaning to write a sweepstakes post about this since the beginning of January.  What happens if you need to turn down a prize and why might you do so?  Well, January 9 was the first time I had to deal with these questions in all my years of sweeping.  At that time, I got an e-mail that I won an Oscar Red Carpet Experience in the PEOPLE’s Red Carpet Oscars Fan Experience 2017 Sweepstakes. At first I was excited at the prospect of getting to view the Oscars and see all the stars!  But then I realized certain expenses such as airfare were not covered.  I knew it would be difficult to come up with the extra money at that time, but also did not want to miss out on a once in a lifetime experience.  I am a member Sweeties Secret Sweeps which has a forum where fellow sweepers can ask each other questions and advice.  I posted my dilemma there, and got responses ranging from people that had won this prize in previous years and recommended going, to those that said the expense did not seem worth what you got unless you were a superfan.

In the end, I simply sat down and added up all the potential expenses and compared that to the value of the trip, and I decided that it was not something I should do at that time.  What should you do if you are in a similar situation?  While it’s an individual choice, an article on The Balance may help you make that decision.  The article talks about avoiding turning down prizes, reasons for turning down prizes, and how to turn down the prize.  You can check out this article here.

While I hope you will never have to face this dilemma, some of the ideas and advice in this post and that article should help you make an informed and satisfactory decision.

Sweepstakes Resolutions

newyearpop

While 2016 was my best sweepstaking year yet, I’m still not sorry it’s over.  During the year I was diagnosed with melanoma, but it was successfully removed.  In fact, tomorrow is my first three month check up since the surgery.  Last year I also submitted a proposal to teach a class on sweepstaking for community education, but it was denied.  So I have some strong resolve for 2017 to accomplish the following:

  • Schedule monthly meetings of the Boise Sweepstakes Club. If you live in Idaho and want to check us out see our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/boisesweepstakesclub
  • Enter even more sweepstakes
  • Reapply to teach my sweepstaking class, and if my proposal is still rejected then hold a free public class at the library
  • Last year I was rattling around some thoughts on writing a sweepstakes memoir. I hope for 2017 that I will finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and get it done!

How did 2016 turn out for you?  Do you have any new sweepstakes resolutions for 2017?  Please let me know in the comments.  Hopefully we can help keep each other motivated this year!

Your Timeline or Mine?

A few weeks ago, in an online sweepers forum that I check every once in a while, someone complained they were not getting their prize in a timely manner.  They had won close to the beginning of summer and here it was almost October. Their main question was will I still have to pay taxes on a prize I haven’t yet received?  Responses to this post assured the prize winner that he would get his prize before the end of the year.  That it was normal for very large companies to take a long time to fulfill the prize.  Others suggested that the prize winner contact, and continue to contact, the prize fulfillment company until he got a clear answer to his question.  Still others said that bothering the fulfillment company does not speed the process along.

I actually didn’t think much of this post because such a situation had never happened to me.  I could not relate to the original post and I could not deliver any advice on the matter.  Until shortly after that when it happened to me!  I won a prize and sent in all my required paperwork.  After not hearing anything, I followed up two weeks later to verify they had received my documents.  I was assured they had and was told I would be hearing from someone soon.  More than a month went by and I got a little concerned.  I reached out one more time, afraid they would see me as a pest but also afraid I would not get my prize.  At this time, I was told that everything was in the final stages and I would be receiving it “soon.”  I have my fingers crossed that I will.

There are some things to remember however.  When you win a large prize from a large company, first the company must verify your eligibility through the paperwork you filled out for them.  Then, the matter is likely passed to a prize fulfillment company, who will have quite a lot of prizes to fulfill from various company’s sweepstakes.  You might not be first in line. But it is usually not the sponsoring company’s fault if things are not fulfilled in a timely manner.  Also, in the case of a big prize, the procurement department of the prize fulfillment company may have some hoops to jump through, paperwork, etc. in order to fulfill the prize.

All this is not to say never follow up.  If done in a polite and well-timed manner, following up on a prize taking a long time to receive can be a good idea.  But don’t necessarily jump to the conclusion that you will never get your prize from a sweepstakes.  We are very excited about our wins and want things to happen on our own timeline, but unfortunately it happens on theirs.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder…

announcementimage

If you’ve been following this blog, you probably noticed that I took a hiatus for about a half a year.  As often happens, life events get in the way.  However, I’m pleased to say that I am back at it, and re-committed to making this blog at least a weekly habit. And just because I haven’t been writing doesn’t mean I haven’t been sweeping.  In fact, this summer I won the most valuable prizes yet, and had three big wins in a row!

You may remember that one of my sweepstakes resolutions for this year was to teach a community education course on sweepstakes.  Well, I applied to do it but got a gentle rejection that such a class was not what they were looking for at this time.  My mind went wild with why not!  Was there not enough interest in the community?  Was there a problem with how I phrased my proposal?  Or my biggest concern, did they have the wrong Idea about sweepstakes (not understanding they are free or thinking it is a form of gambling).  Because I was notified by letter, I never had the opportunity to speak with them or answer any questions they may have had.

As luck would have it, I noticed that for their fall programs, the community education program was offering a class called Learn to Teach What You Love.  I figured if the problem lay on my end, this would get me organized and ready to teach in the future, so I registered.  The class is happening tomorrow night and I will let you know if it is helpful.

I look forward to hearing from you, my readers, about how your sweepstakes hobby is going, whether you have any questions, or suggestions for future blog posts. I look forward to getting reacquainted with you as summer turns to cooler weather, sports themed sweepstakes, and the mad race toward the holidays!

Unusual Prizes

mystery prize.jpg

One question I’m asked frequently from non-sweepers is what could they win if they entered?  My answer: Just about anything you can think of!  Of course there are more common prizes like trips, cash, clothing, cars, jewelry, gift cards, etc.  There are more specific prizes like tickets to a particular game or event.  There are experiences, like race car driving lessons.  But it doesn’t stop there.

Prizes can be very specific and, if it’s not one you are particularly looking for, can even seem a bit strange.  How about an invasive medical procedure?  You can win that!  CBS Cares ran a Colonoscopy Sweepstakes.  Another procedure – right now a contest local to me is offering free removal of a “bad tattoo” to the winner of its photo contest.  Other very specific prizes I have seen are replica models or to scale figurines of various characters, a three foot tall piece of chocolate, “strange” foods in large quantities, and much more.

But in between the common and strange prizes, there are many other types of prizes to win.  If you can think of a prize, there just may be a sweepstakes or contest to win it.  Try searching for the name of the prize you want to win plus the word sweepstakes and see what comes up.  Also, don’t forget that many sweepstakes listings sites will offer a list of sweepstakes by prize type.

Have you won any prizes you would consider unusual?  Do you usually enter to win unusual prizes?  Let me know in the comments what your thoughts on this are, and if you have further suggestions for seeking out sweepstakes with unusual prizes.

Also, don’t forget to get your entries in to the giveaway in my January 31st post!

 

Incoming!

Presents

By this time of year, most sweepers are waiting for incoming wins!  It’s a bittersweet time.  The holiday sweepstakes are ending, and most of the year’s contests are coming to a close by December 31.   On the one hand, it’s very exciting to imagine that in the coming weeks those win notifications you’ve been working so hard toward may arrive!  On the other hand, your list of sweepstakes to enter will dwindle until the 2016 sweepstakes start up over the next year, and you can bulk your entry list up again.

Do you like to be surprised by wins or do you prefer a heads up?  Oftentimes sponsors will send a prize via postal service, UPS or other method to your door without notifying you in advance.  While I find this can be fun, I also like the anticipation of waiting for a prize to arrive that I know is on its way.  Because of this, I recently signed up for UPS My Choice.  This is a free membership that, among other things, allows you to be notified if a UPS package is headed your way.  You still have the element of surprise in that the contents of the package are a mystery, but you at least know to expect a package and who it is coming from.

One more word of advice as 2015 winds down and 2016 greets us.  I have been reading many different articles lately that list some of the top scams of the year, and scams to be on the lookout for in the New Year.  Sweepstakes scams and scams involving claims that you have won prizes or money are rampant and top off many of the lists.  So please use caution when giving out information or accepting prizes.  Reviewing my November 16 post entitled “Don’t Fall Victim to Scams” is a good starting point for keeping safe.

Good luck as the 2015 sweeping year comes to a close.  May many prizes come your way!  I’ll let you know if I win anything, and you can do the same in the comments section of any post!

Happy New Year!